And, so Gurgaon has been renamed Gurugram. Residents of India's third most profitable city are at a loss to understand this inane reform. "Trust public sector sloth to always mess up private sector success," my buddies from the 'Millenium City' rant.
"The Haryana government should devote itself to game changing rather than name changing." Hipster kids feel that their city has lost its 'cool' factor — I mean can you really tell your Gurdaspur cousins, 'Sup dude, come check out our awesome Gurugram discs'. I mean, it just doesn't have the same cache as 'Bro, wassup, I'm from Gurgaon…come let's hang". Plus, Gurugram has a particularly wimpish, regressive feel about it.
Half the Fortune 500 Companies have set up shop there. What is the head of Google India meant to tell his Googleplex bosses in California — "Sir, we gotta change our address and website to Gurugram. Yeah sir, Gurugram…it's like Instagram, with a Guru added on."
At least in Mumbai, if you are a tad embarrassed by the fact that you live in 'Andheri', you could say, "I live in Upper Juhu" And it's not like Gurgaon got its colloquial name from a colonial avatar — like it wasn't Bombay becoming Mumbai or Madras changed to Chennai. It wasn't as if say Gurgaon, was originally, Gurbay or Gurras or Guroslavakia or Gruholm or Gurinski. It was Gurgaon. Plain and simple. It had 'gaon' in its name. And yet it sounded cool. For the Panju, it was the relish filled 'Gurgawa'.
Now it's gone from a burgeoning city to a cottage industry.
It's suddenly transformed from a nouveau riche hipster cool metropolis to a small municipal school in a village. Like the city now sounds like 'gurukul', right?
I'm obviously intrigued by the fact that in these times of godmen and their vast hold over sizable chunks of our population, a throbbing city should have a 'Guru' added to its name. In these times when one 'holy man' blames a honeymooning couple for the Kedarnath floods.
Another one leaves the Yamuna flood plains in a mess, and has started manufacturing a malt beverage that's going to compete with Bournvita. A third is giving Maggi Noodles a run for its money. Clearly, my idea of a god man is outdated. I always thought them to be spiritual leaders, who renounced worldly temptations.
Today's Godmen combine bhakt-speak, with selling their brands at Big Bazaar. But hey, I'm digressing wildly — I was talking about the renaming of cities. Yup, so post Gurugram, many 'shehers' are being re-christened — Noida's becoming 'Annoyeda'. Patna, became 'Partners' after the Laloo/Nitish combine won.
Soon, Bihar post prohibition will become 'Bootleg Desh'. Delhi will soon be renamed Duh-elhi, Mumbai will be renamed Mumbani, if the Mumbai Indians win the IPL, Pune, automatically becomes Dhune, if MS wins it for them. And Rajkot, Rainakot for obvious reasons. (Outside India, the USA could become Trumpistan). And finally, if popular demand has its way, the Board of Cricket Control of India could well be renamed, Bhogle Cricket Commentary of India.
Rahul da Cunha is an adman, theatre director/playwright, photographer and traveller. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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